Thinking About Development

Recurring Issues in Human Development
Three main issues are prominent in the study of human development.

Nature vs. Nurture -

Continuity vs. discontinuity -

Universal vs. Context-specific –

Basic Forces in Human Development:  The Biopsychosocial Framework
Biological Forces include all genetic and health related factors that affect development.

Psychological forces include all internal perceptual, cognitive, emotional and personality factors that influence development.

Sociocultural forces include interpersonal, societal, cultural, and ethnic factors that affect development.

Life-cycle forces:  “biopsychosocial” framework

Developmental Theories
    General Information:

Psychodynamic theories - propose that behavior is determined by unconscious motives.

    Freud -

    Erikson -

Learning theory

    Behaviorism -

    Social learning theory proposes that people learn by observing others.

Cognitive-Developmental theory -
    Piaget -

    Kohlberg -

Information-processing theory - argues that people deal with information like a computer does, and that development consists of increased efficiency in handling information.

Ecological and Systems approach

    Bronfenbrenner -

    Competence-environmental press -

Life Span and Life Course theories

Doing Developmental Research

    Measurement in Human Development

Systematic Observation -

Sampling behavior -

Self-reports -

Each of these methods must be shown to be reliable and valid.
Reliability -

Validity -

General Designs for Research

Correlational studies -

The correlation coefficient is a number that describes a relationship.

Experimental studies -

    Independent Variable -

    Dependent Variable -


Designs for Studying Development

Longitudinal studies -

Cross-sectional designs -

Sequential designs -

Conducting Research Ethically
minimize risk to participants
informed consent
avoid deception
results should be confidential

Communicating Research Results
submit manuscripts to scientific journals
become references in texts like K/C
encourages further research endeavors by others

In the Beginning:  23 Pairs of Chromosomes

Mechanisms of Heredity

Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes,
    22 pairs of autosomes plus the sex chromosomes.

Genotype -

Phenotype -

Allelles -



Dominant vs. Recessive:

Genetic Disorders
Genetic disorders can result from inheriting harmful genes.

Genetic disorders can also be the result of extra, missing or damaged chromosomes.

Disorders of the sex chromosomes are more common because these chromosomes contain much less genetic material.

From Conception to Birth

Period of the Zygote

Period of the Embryo

Period of the Fetus

Influences on Prenatal Development

General Risk Factors

Teratogens: Drugs, Disease, and Environmental Hazards

How Teratogens Influence Prenatal Development

Prenatal Diagnosis and Treatment

Labor and Delivery

Stages of Labor




Approaches to Childbirth 

Birth Complications

Infant Mortality


The Newborn

The Newborn’s Reflexes

Assessing  the Newborn

    Apgar score

    The Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale

The Newborn’s States





Physical Development

    Growth of the Body



        Breastfeeding vs. Bottlefeeding

The Emerging Nervous System

    Neurons, include a cell body, a dendrite, and an axon.

    Neuronal Stages of Development:


          Growth -

Moving and Grasping - Early Motor Skills

    Fine-Motor Skills

Maturation and Experience: Both Influence Motor Skills

Coming to Know the World:  Perception

    Smell and Taste

    Touch and Pain



Integrating Sensory Information

Becoming Self-Aware
    Origins of Self-Concept

Theory of Mind
    Theory of mind refers to our intuitive understanding of ourselves and others.
    The development of a theory of mind has three phases:

        Desire -

        Desire and mental states -

        Belief and desire -

The Emergence of Thought and Language

The Onset of Thinking:  Piaget’s Account
Basic Principles of Cognitive Development

    1. Thought is always

    2. Assimilation -

    3. Accommodation -

    4. Periodically the child’s cognitive structures undergo massive change.
         The result is four different phases of mental development from infancy through adulthood.
        All individuals go through all four phases, but not necessarily at the same rate.

        FOUR PHASES ARE:        Sensorimotor, Preoperational, Concrete Operational, and Formal Operational

Sensorimotor Thinking

0 to 8 months

    Reflexes -

    Primary Circular Reactions -

    Secondary circular reactions -

By 8-12 months, (intention) -

By 12-18 months (experiment),

    Tertiary circular reactions -

By 18-24 months,


Preoperational Thinking

From 2 to 7 years of age

Thinking is limited by

    Conservation -

Evaluating Piaget’s Theory




Information-Processing During Infancy and Early Childhood

General Information Processing Principles



    Eyewitness testimony

    Quantitative Knowledge

Mind and Culture:  Vygotsky’s Theory

    The Zone of Proximal Development


    Private Speech


The Road to Speech


    Caregiver speech

     Crying, Cooing, Babbling

First Words and Many More

    Babies first understand speech, then begin to speak after first birthday

    Referential style

    Expressive style

    Underextension and Overextension of words

    Vocabulary is stimulated by experience

Speaking in Sentences:  Grammatical Development
    One word, to two word sentences

    Grammatical morphemems - learn rules

     Some claim our brains are pre-wired to understand language

    Experience and models are crucial


Communicating with Others

    Parents encourage turn-taking

    Demonstrate speaker and listener rules

    Preschoolers can adjust their speech to fit the listener's needs


Erikson’s Stages of Early Psychosocial Development

    Crisis of Infancy

    Crisis of 1 to 3 years

    Crisis of 3 to 5 years

The Growth of Attachment

   An enduring socail-emotioanl relationship between infant and parent

    Biologically programmed

    Develops gradually

    By 6 or 7 months have an attachment figure (mother)

    Later attach to other family members, too

Studying Attachment:  Strange Situation

    Infant and mom together

    Mom leaves

    Stranger enters

    Stranger leaves

    Mom enters

    Examine "reunion"

Four types of Attachment

    Secure -

    Avoidant -

    Resistant -

    Disorganized -

    Secure infants interact with peers better, better outcomes

Attachment, Work and Alternative Caregiving

    Attachment and Child care

    Good Quality Child Care

Emerging Emotions

Basic Emotions
    Early in life we see happiness, anger, surprise, fear, disgust, and sadness

    Shown by facial expressions

    Social smile at 2 months
    Laughter at 4 months
    Anger at 4 to 6 months
    Fear at 6 months
Complex Emotions

    guilt, embarrassment, and pride emerge at 18 to 24 months

    Develop after the child has a sense of self

    Complex emotions are not universal

Recognizing and Using Others’ Emotions

    Infants can distinguish facial expressions and will match their emotions to others' at 6 months old (social referencing)

Interacting with Others
The Joys of Play

    Babies notice each other

    At 12 - 15 months - parallel play

    Later simple social play emerges

    At 2 years, cooperative play emerges

     2 year olds prefer same sex play

    Boys and Girls' play differs

    Parents play with toddlers at their level or slightly advanced level

Learning to Cooperate

    Cooperation is more common as children get older

    Children will model cooperation

    Cooperation influenced by societal values

Helping Others

    Children who can take others' perspetives help others more (or share more)

    Contextual factors are important

    Parents influence children's helping and sharing

Gender Issues

    Gender stereotypes

    Gender differences

Gender Typing

    Parents treat sons and daughters similarly, except in gender-typed activities.

    Peers are critical of children who engage in cross-gender play.  (boys more than girls)

    By 2 or 3 a child can label themselves as a boy or girl.

    By 4 and 7 children develop gender constancy.

    They can also stereotype activites by sex

Evolving Gender Roles

What are some of the key theoretical questions for studying human development?

Describe the core of Freud's theoretical framework - what elements are key?

What is Erikson's theory in general?

What is behaviorism - how would you apply its principles?

Describe Piaget's overall theory.

What are the methods we use to collect data?                                  How do correlations work?

What is the difference between an independent and dependent variable?

What are the three main types of research regarding time span?

Create your family tree regarding eye color or help a partner do the same if you don't have enough information.

What are the stages of prenatal development?

What are terotagens?  What are some examples?

What are the stages of labor?

What are some of baby's reflexes?

What are a baby's states of being?

Briefly discuss some key advantages to breastfeeding.

List some of the key hallmarks of gross motor development (motor skills)

Read in your book about handedness (right vs. left)

Review and list how babies can use their senses.

Describe Piaget's theory through early childhood (the basics and sensorimotor and preoperational stages)

Review infant's memory skills - read about Rovee-Collier's research.

Understand Vygotsky's key concepts.

What is a phoneme?  Apply your knowledge.

What is habituation?

How do parents influence language development - review this in your book.

Understand Erikson's theory as it applies to infants and toddlers.

Review the primary types of play.          Review the hallmarks of emotional development.

Review sex differences, stereotypes, etc. in your book.